Shwegugyi Temple (1,589/ 901 A)

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Type of monument Type III Temple
LocationIn front of the Bagan Palace
RegionOld Bagan
Built byKing Alaungsithu
Date11th Century
Monument Number 1,589/ 901 A
Shwegugyi Temple (1,589/ 901 A)

This Pagoda lies on the north of Thatbyinnyu. It is also Known as NAN-U Paya because it was built at the front of the palace. There is an excavated mound called “Aung Mye Kon” on the north and west of the Pagoda. King Alaung Sikhara built this Pagoda in A.D 1141. Standing on a brick plinth of 12 feet high the Pagoda looks like a big mushroom stemming out of the
ground. It is a cave Pagoda with a Sikhara on the top facing north. The wall of the brick plinth was adorned with glazed tiles of green colour.

There used to be plaster mouldings presenting deva figures in row. But now only three remain on the southern side. At the north-west corner of the chamber there is a stone stairway leading to the top. All along the base of the pagoda and the terraces .no found decorative glazed tiles of green colour, still in good condition.

Inside the image house, four Buddha images of brick and cement backing one another are seated around the central pillar. There are two inscribed stone slabs inlaid in the wall of the northern entrance. The inscription is in Pali, one slab has 47 lines and the other 45. They are Pali poem of 100 stanzas.

At the end of the poem are two lines of Sanscrit. The inscription mentions the beginning and completion dates of the construction of the Pagoda. So we learn from it that it took 7 months and 7 days to build the Pagoda. The last two lines in Sanscrit run as follows;

“The construction began on Sunday the 4th waning moon of Kason month in the Sakarit year 503 and SHWEGU GYI Pagoda was completed successfully on Monday the 11th waning moon of Nataw month in the Sakarit year 503”.


Shwegugyi Temple (Google Map)

Reference Books:

Glimpse of Glorious Bagan, Universities Historical Research Centre, Yangon, Myanmar, The University Press, 1996

Pictorial Guide to Pagan, Ministry of Culture, Yangon, Myanmar, The Printing and Publish Corporation, Reprint 1975

The Pagodas and Monuments of Bagan, Vol. 1, Translated by Dr Khin Maung Nyunt, Ministry of Information, Yangon, Myanmar, Graphic Training Centre (G.T.C), 1995

The Pagodas and Monuments of Bagan , Vol. 2, English Text by Dr Khin Maung Nyunt, Ministry of Information, Yangon, Myanmar, Graphic Training Centre (G.T.C), 1998

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